Hey all, Pat made me come in and water his blog and make sure its food bowls are full, since it’s his birthday week or something and he’ll be away. He asked me to write a guest post, and our conversation went something like this:
Laura: Can I write it as a promo for my upcoming novel, Saturnine, a sci-fi thriller that’s coming out this spring?
Laura: Well, I can’t write any more writing advice. I’m writing-advice’d out.
Pat: Good, because that’s not interesting.
Laura: What about a thinly veiled promo?
Pat: No. You can mention it in your bio.
Boo. So, let me tell you a story. This story involves a girl, and this girl had a dream. Not just any dream, mind you. A dream of becoming a writer.
But the story doesn’t start from A to B; it goes from Z to X and backwards and forwards again, a life of puzzle pieces all dumped out on the floor with the box missing. The picture emerges as the right pieces fit together. Take a look:
2006. The girl, leaving a late college class, looks up and sees a gorgeous sunset, with bubble-gum pinks, streaks of violet, and bursts of gold in the sky. She thinks about the sunset and writes a description of it as the last scene in her first novel.
2010. On her way back from a restaurant, the girl tells someone she dreams of becoming a writer. The person says: “Stick to nursing school; you’ll never make money writing.” The girl gets lost on the way home, missing her exit, and has to call someone to ask for directions.
1993. The girl writes down a story in blue crayon, asking her mother how to spell several words.
2005. A teacher catches the girl in a busy hallway and says, “Good job on your report. You have a real flair for writing.”
2000. Girl visits friends’ house, marveling at all the books. “I have some I’ve never even read,” says her friend, something the girl could not possibly imagine.
2000-2001. Girl asks librarian how many books she can take out at a time. Librarian says, fourteen. Girl checks out five books a week for the next two years, reading as many as possible.
1995. Girl asks her teacher if she can write in cursive. Teacher says, “No, that’s next year. You’re not supposed to have learned that yet.”
1994. Girl learns cursive from older brother.
2011. Our protagonist releases first novel; friends cheer. Family asks for several copies, which they want to send to third cousins.
1994. Girl makes a little “book,” on a small pad of paper. Spelling is phonetical. She staples it with a cardboard cover and illustrates it with watercolors.
2012. Girl finds a hand-crafted book while clearing out old boxes at parents’ home. Finds the name of a publisher. “Published,” it says, “by Note Pad.”